Nothing to do except to write this note even my eyes are so tired and my mind flying. To Jing An last night I went with my camera and tried taking pictures utilizing user defined mode. Strong color and more saturated. Walking back to home I realize the air is getting colder now must be and pondered that autumn must be starting now. MyTV was still unfixed, because of electrical surge created by the lightning that struck the building last week. So my energy I waste to my pc going online to make my weekend less miserable. Slept last night around 2pm downloading music from Limewire and felt quite happy getting the song Square Room which I was a fave back in the 80’s. I put it in my external and filed it in my new wave collection. Loud series of thunder woke me up this morning. The circuit breaker shut down and for a long period of time I was to lazy to stand and turn it on. Today, the streets to work namely Wulumuqi and Hua Shan Rd were submerged in water and most of my officemates came late from work. So today I learned the Chinese word for flood “ hong shui.”

I feel so lazy writing this entry.


The Summer of Shanghai

This Saturday I met John and Cha and sailed down south Dino Beach Waterpark in Minghan district, several minutes cab drive from Xinzhuang metro station. For some strange reason (read: katangahan), we rode a wrong bus that took us in a wrong direction far far away from the venue and later got soak by the afternoon rain but these disappointments never did stop us from getting t our summer destination. We arrive before dawn in this Jurrasic inspired water theme park. Nothing special except that it’s big with typical resort amenities and a beach complete with sand and waves as its popular attraction. That day there were a lot of locals and I mean A LOT in there swim suites were ready to get wet and take the plunge. Who cares about Olympics in Beijing when you have the sand, sun and fun to enjoy this season. We went there to see this man made summer escapade enjoy the waves but the main reason really was to see some skin and damn we were not disappointed. The much awaited Honey Beach 2008 competition staged there and boy the crowd went wild as the honeys dance and modeled bikini clad. While everything was unfolding before my eyes, the infamous theme of Bikini Open, ah bikini ah ah bikini, was humming in my mind.

The following are just pure and colorful supplementary images to learn more the science called anatomy.


on Travelling

Lakbayan created by Eugene Villar test how much you traveled the the Philippines graphically. Killing time at the office I tried and gave me this result and a grade me as C. Pity my map has a lot of white shades meaning is self explanatory. I dont know what C means but looking back I the best 3 places to me are Boracay, Sagada and Batanes. Kaw?
anung top 3 best na lugar mo sa Pinas???

My Lakbayan grade is C!


Few Notes and Things

At the office, I was listing down few things on my notebook. Most of them unwritten and locked in my mind. Since all of them are trivial I think I can write it down here so you could have a look. Some thoughts though I just made today.

1. I need to buy new Levis Jeans. My latest was months old and my first one doesn’t fit anymore. The idleness in me and Chinese food made my tummy big I guess. I have having second thought buying because it’s expensive here in Shanghai. I got my last one 800rmb. Maybe I should wait several months more to purchase L in Manila.

2. I need a backpack. I was canvassing and looking for a week now for this one. My shoulder bag, no matter how cool it looks, it really doesn’t fit and heavy when I do travel. I want something blue or black and would fit my camera and some clothing and abubot. Jansport is giving me unfashionable and dull styles.

3. I need to update my resume and SOW. My contract would end next month and the office has the power to renew or not. This also means my residence visa would expire soon. Just a precaution you know, giving your highlights to others won’t hurt you.

4. I need to blog something other than travel and the art. Naks! More I need to be productive and creative writing literature for my space. Topics like poetry, politics and personal life I yearn to include here so love and hate would also feel here. Lately I was pushing myself in learning html and stalking at others blogger writing style and page layout. Lately also, I was making my existence known through this blog. Yes, I have been extinct, figuratively disappeared in creative realm called art.

5. I am keeping a notebook and hope all thoughts I can unleash from my minds and sketch, draw or write them on its pages. I like the idea for this one. I have been thinking of doing this since college. So far I already have several pages used and seeing them made me happy. See how so trivial these were

* * *

Few things more before I end this one.

Month ago some people starting installing wooden scaffolding in the building were I lodged. Thought they would paint the building but it took awhile to understand that they would start plastering it walls with cement to soften it and hope one day they would paint it for good to hide its shabby interior. I might live in a former French Concession area but boy my building like me is poor.

Today like any ordinary days I arrived home from work. But the lights wouldn’t turn on. I u in my sala and there seemed no electricity flowing on the wires of this house. The circuit breaker switch was off and so I push it up and viola! Later, I found out that the TV wasn’t working and when tried to turn on gave me a scent of something like a burning wires. My theory was that the something happens inside this tube that shut down the circuit breaker. These days, as Olympics Games unfolds in Beijing, TV is very important for updates.

Speaking of Olympics, have you seen the opening ceremony? It was grand, very oriental and very spectacular. I personally like the taichi, the drums rolling, the paper and the printing machine thing, and even the singing of the March of the Volunteers was emotional and breathtaking. Even though it took just 15 minutes to see them I was proud to cheer with Filipino athletes participating in the Games.


On Your Marks...

I have always been a big fan of the Olympic Games. This started I think when I saw1988 Seoul Olympics in tv in full color. The same Games that gave us a powerful catchy theme song “Hand in Hand” that still up to know the melody is humming in my mind. For years after, who would forget the flaming arrow being use to light the Olympic torch in Barcelona. Then there was Atlanta, Sydney, and back to the birthplace city of Olympics, Athens. Looking back, I felt the last three Olympic Games were not that much big deal to me, perhaps I was glued with studies and work more that time.
In a few hours the world would witness the greatest show on earth. All eyes set to Beijing for the opening 2008 Summer Olympic Games. And I must admit I would prefer by that by 8pm I would be seating in a couch with an HD tv before me watching the opening night. I felt my excitement for this sporting event was revived. The number one factor for that was because I am in China, the host country. Though Beijing may seem very far away from Shanghai, where I was stationed for my work, I felt somehow involved and connected to the Games. It’s a lame justification yet I found it a happy thought.
Also, I have been to China for almost a year now sometime traveling to its cities and countryside, to the galleries halls and fields. In Shanghai and other visits, I have a chance to learn China up close and reinforcing this with reading informative literature about them you’d really amazed how great and rich the Chinese culture, tradition and history. And these very elements made the opening ceremony an event to catch. My mind was already imagine the bang of fireworks and the many banners of red flying and floating, and the colorful music filling the air and the different dance and acts being performed by thousands in unison and in a very Chinese way. But let’s wait and see how director Zhang Yimou would orchestrate the opening.
Days before the Olympic commenced, I witnessed some cleaning. Some DVD stalls in Shanghai, like the one in Jing An temple, were no longer available for transaction. Pubs in Tongren Road, meanwhile stopped operating and were closed from happy hours to midnight. The familiar scene of girls inviting passersby were nowhere in sight and Shanghai popular pub street was like a ghost town on a Holy Friday. Red Beat announced that everything would be normalized August 5, well let’s see this weekend.
A Filipino friend was asked for his passport by a policeman doing a random inspection also in broad day light. So, it became a good habit to always carry your passport during this period. And since the city would be hosting football match in Shanghai Stadium, it’s a familiar sight to see a lot of police patrolling the area. In the news, the security in Beijing was tighter just see those surface to air missile near the Bird’s Nest Stadium. After 9-11 and the threats of terrorism, or after the governments of the world successfully feared its people with danger here and danger there, security became a tighter and tougher business.
Lastly, I’d appreciate what China is doing in preparation to hold this event. They have been criticized on their human rights records to environmental issues but remain steadfast to make the Games realize. A big blow came this May when Sichuan was hit by an 8.0 magnitude earthquake yet the people resilient like the Chinese bamboo saw the calamity as rallying point to get the ren min closer together.
Anyway saying all these, let’s all hope for a successful Olympics in Beijing. Hope the Olympics would create more understanding of China, and other countries and later the government of these countries would later disarm themselves for world wide peace. Amen. In my personal prayer meanwhile, I wish the Philippines to get first her gold medal here so this would be historical one.

Enjoy the Olympics everyone!!!

Let the Games begin!!!


out of words 04: corns

Roaming around Huangshan (no climbing pls)

I was in Huangshan last week. A prefecture-level city, Huangshan, formerly called Huizhou, is located in the southernmost portion of Anhui province. At first I thought we were in Hefei, Anhui capital, but it would still take a day to realize I was all wrong. A We arrived in Tunxi airport an hour before midnight. From Shanghai it’s an hour away but most of the flight to the city and vice versa happened always that late. We took a rest in AAAA hotel (masabi lang) and had an early presentation the next day.

By the time we finished our meeting, we still had ample time to wait, like 11hrs, for our trip back to Shanghai. Realizing this, the good client lent us their company’s van and 2 of his people to tour us to Huangshan’s bests.

Tunxi’s Lao Jie

Literally in Mandarin, Lao Jie means old or ancient street that stretched less than mile long and lies in the urban district of Tunxi. It was raining that day but it never stopped me from walking on its pavement made up of big cuts of rocks to see what this street has to offer. Walking on this street was like walking in dynasty era with commercial edifices, walls painted in white hue with gray tiled roof embroidered with wooden and stone carving. These features, as I would later discover more, define the Hui folk architecture. There were numerous shops that sell anything Chinese, porcelains, silks, antiques, tea, spices but the big hit were wood and stone carving merchandise that showcase how best the locals excel in that craftsmanship. With the help of my Chinese officemate Nancy and Robinson from translation to bargaining, I purchased for 150rmb a banner engraved was Chairman Mao famous saying "Serve the People!" which I requested for Mr. Wang, the calligrapher, to write. I was happy with the outcome and learning there’s no Starbucks city mug here I needed a great souvenir to remember this city. Lunch was served in the “number one” restaurant in the area just near the Memorial Archway of Xuguo. The meal was not Sichuanly spicy and not Shanghaily oily but still deliciously Chinese. And yes, the meal was cheaper here compare to Shanghai. I particularly like the chicken with a soup on it and reminded me of my mother tinola back home.

The Village of Chengkan

Whilst our stomachs were digesting the sumptuous meal, we passed mountains, towers, rivers and a lot of plains used for growing rice and corns along the way. The ride took us more than 30 minutes from the city center to the ancient village called Chengkan. The entrance fee to this scenic beauty pegged at 65rmb/person and comes with a local guide that spoke to us only in Chinese. The good thing about this was that the client paid for us. But the real best thing on the tour was Chengkan itself, its traditional preserved architecture, the rural life and the natural beauty that surrounds the place. Again, walking around here, slithering along its narrow pathways, seeing these canals, grasping the rough plastering on the brick wall panels and wood columns, was like time traveling. I have
been to many places in China with old traditional buildings but never experiencing trailing on a Chinese village such as Chengkan that seemed so locked in old times and physically knew no concept of modernity.

In Chengkan, I was in awe whilst sauntering its zig zag and thin lanes sandwiched in between by traditional Hui residences of 2
to 3 floors height. Again, in this village you can conclude how much the old ways had influence the modern people in building their own houses. Here you’d find wooden structure with open courtyards receiving to its interior both daylight and the rain. At the heart of the village lies the grand Boulan Hall built in the Ming Dynasty, like
1542, and mind you, the structure was grand in scale boasting the exquisite wooden and stone carvings on its ceiling and walls. I found it amazing to see people still inhabiting this rural town though most of them were old already. But still these very people whilst they doing their daily deeds like growing crops, doing haircuts or just simply listening to opera on the radio were bringing life to the village.

The Lessons on Archways and Bonsai

Tangyue village was 10 minutes away drive from Changken Village. This town welcomed us with its infamous memorial archways which comprised of seven well preserved huge stone arches built during the Ming and Qing period. Each stone archway tells a touching story and built as an imperial tribute to great contributors and ordinary people doing good deeds, and upholding justice, sheer love and bravery above all. Each archway is different from each other and possesses intricate carved details. Near these archways were ancestral temples built by opulent and powerful Bao clan and after visiting and learning their ancient halls and temples nearby gave me a conclusion how lucky the women of today compared to those in the feudal years.

We also had the chance to see the Bao gardens, just minutes away from the Tangyue archways, which houses large and private collection of bonsai in China and I felt they were better and outnumber those in Humble and Administration Garden in Suzhou. Here, you’d also find miniatures of Huangshan ranges giving us a clue of how the Hui people lives harmoniously with nature while respecting tradition. To me, these miniatures were just a preview that someday, given enough time, I would climb the steep slope of Yellow Mountain and conquered its peak.